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Religion

Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Zionist Settler Women in Israel-Palestine

Citation:

Mehta, Akanksha. 2017. "Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Zionist Settler Women in Israel-Palestine." PhD diss., SOAS University of London.

Author: Akanksha Mehta

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Right-Wing movements have gained political momentum in the last few decades, drawing within their ranks women who not only embody their exclusionary and violent politics but who also simultaneously contest everyday patriarchies. This thesis examines the everyday politics of women in two right-wing movements, the cultural nationalist Hindu right-wing project in India and the settler-colonial Zionist project in Israel-Palestine. Based on fourteen months of ethnographic, narrative, and visual ‘fieldwork’ conducted with women in both these movements, I argue that through a politics of the everyday, right-wing women bargain and negotiate with patriarchal communities/homes, male-formulated ideologies and discourses, and maledominated right-wing projects and spaces. These mediations replicate and affirm as well as subvert and challenge patriarchal structures and power hierarchies, troubling the binaries of home/world, private/public, personal/political, and victim/agent. I assert that dominant literature on rightwing women focuses on motherhood and family, ignoring various other crucial subject positions that are constituted and occupied by right-wing women and neglecting the agential and empowering potential of right-wing women’s subjectivities.
 
"I use four themes/lenses to examine the everyday politics of right-wing women. These are: pedagogy and education; charity and humanitarian work; intimacy, friendship, sociability and leisure; and political violence. By interrogating the practices that are contained in and enabled by these four locations of Hindu right-wing and Zionist settler women’s everyday politics, this thesis highlights the multiple narratives, contradictions, pluralities, hierarchies, power structures, languages, and discourses that encompass right-wing women’s projects" (Mehta 2017, 3-4). 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism, Political Participation, Religion, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia Countries: India, Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2017

Gender Dimensions of (Non)Violence in Communal Conflict: The Case of Jos, Nigeria

Citation:

Krause, Jana. 2019. "Gender Dimensions of (Non)Violence in Communal Conflict: The Case of Jos, Nigeria." Comparative Political Studies: 1-34.

Author: Jana Krause

Abstract:

Peacebuilding is more likely to succeed in countries with higher levels of gender equality, but few studies have examined the link between subnational gender relations and local peace and, more generally, peacebuilding after communal conflict. This article addresses this gap. I examine gender relations and (non)violence in ethno-religious conflict in the city of Jos in central Nigeria. Jos and its rural surroundings have repeatedly suffered communal clashes that have killed thousands, sometimes within only days. Drawing on qualitative data collected during fieldwork, I analyze the gender dimensions of violence, nonviolence, and postviolence prevention. I argue that civilian agency is gendered. Gender relations and distinct notions of masculinity can facilitate or constrain people’s mobilization for fighting. Hence, a nuanced understanding of the gender dimensions of (non)violence has important implications for conflict prevention and local peacebuilding.

Keywords: communal violence, gender relations, nonviolence, peacebuilding, masculinities

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, conflict, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Religion, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2019

Gendered Environmental Security in IDP and Refugee Camps

Citation:

Rosenow-Williams, Kerstin, and Katharina Behmer. 2015. “Gendered Environmental Security in IDP and Refugee Camps.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 27: 188–95.

Authors: Kerstin Rosenow-Williams, Katharina Behmer

Annotation:

Summary:
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its Executive Committee have long stressed that situations of flight and displacement affect men and women differently and that effective programming must recognize these differences. In the mid-1980s UNHCR, and various other humanitarian actors, began incorporating a gender perspective into their humanitarian activities. Since then a large variety of handbooks, guidelines, and toolkits have been developed. The 2008 UNHCR Handbook for the Protection of Women and Girls, for example, notes that gender mainstreaming has been adopted as a United Nations (UN)–wide policy, recognizing that centralizing the differing needs of women and men into the design of programs, policies, and operations is necessary to fundamentally improve the position of gender equality.
 
"To monitor and advance this policy approach, this essay advocates the use of a gendered human security perspective as an analytical tool to disentangle the gendered dimensions of security for individuals and groups during displacement. It places a special focus on the interrelation between gender categories, their social construction, and the intersectionality of individual characteristics. An intersectional focus on gender-specific dimensions of displacement means taking into account other factors that can cause vulnerability and insecurities (such as age, sexuality, race, religion, class, and ethnicity), thus, also acknowledging the different security situations of individuals within the same gender group. Fusing the concepts of gender mainstreaming and human security proves to be a useful approach to conceptualize and address the multilayered and interrelated security needs of men, women, boys, and girls while providing evidence of the importance of making both sexes the key referents for human security" (Rosenow-Williams and Behmer 2015, 188). 

Topics: Age, Clan, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Race, Religion, Security, Human Security, Sexuality

Year: 2015

Beyond the Spectacular: Contextualizing Gender Relations in the Wake of the Boko Haram Insurgency

Citation:

Pereira, Charmaine. 2018. "Beyond the Spectacular: Contextualizing Gender Relations in the Wake of the Boko Haram Insurgency." Meridians 17 (2): 246-68.

Author: Charmaine Pereira

Abstract:

The aim of this essay is to interrogate gender relations in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency in a way that recognizes continuities as well as discontinuities across multiple dimensions of social relations. The essay begins by outlining the changing trajectory of the Boko Haram insurgency and scholarly efforts to understand it as a social phenomenon. The second section discusses how research and media recognition of Boko Haram’s violence in relation to women led to a focus on spectacular events, such as mass abductions and suicide bombings. It is critical to recognize the politics of visibility and nonvisibility regarding women in the gendered dynamics set in motion by Boko Haram’s spectacles of violence. Finally, the essay points to ways in which feminist analyses of conflict and militarism throw light on the more suppressed yet critical dimensions of gender relations that surface in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Keywords: Boko Haram, spectacular, violence, visibility, gender politics

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race, Religion

Year: 2018

Contested Encounters: Toward a Twenty-First-Century African Feminist Ethnography

Citation:

Makana, Selina. 2018. "Contested Encounters: Toward a Twenty-First-Century African Feminist Ethnography." Meridians 17 (2): 361-75.

Author: Selina Makana

Abstract:

This essay reflects upon both the predicaments and the promises of feminist ethnography in contemporary Africa from the position of an African feminist researcher. Two key questions guide the analysis: What are productive ways to respond to feminist critiques of representing the African woman “other”? What are the promises, if any, of African feminist ethnography documenting the histories of women on the continent? This essay argues that African feminist ethnography is a productive methodology that helps to highlight knowledge production about women’s lives in their specific sociopolitical, ethnolinguistic, religious, and economic contexts. To highlight the significance and limits of reflexivity and the idiosyncrasies of ethnographic research, this essay calls for a different way of naming the encounters between researchers and their participants. It therefore proposes naming this energy the ebb and flow of fieldwork research because this metaphor helps to destabilize and move beyond the rigid binaries of insider/outsider that have traditionally characterized power relations in fieldwork.

Topics: Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, intersectionality, Race, Religion Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb

Citation:

Sangari, Kumkum. 2004. “New Patriotisms: The Beauty Queen and the Bomb.” In From Gender to Nation, edited by Rada Ivekovic and Julie Mostov, 153–70. New Dehli: Zubaan.

Author: Kumkum Sangari

Annotation:

Summary:
"The significant literature on gender and nationalism generated in the past decade shows that the emphasis on women as biological reproducers or members of a bounded collectivity, and the centrality of womanhood to the ideological reproduction of the nation are common to a variety of nationalisms. Yet the ideological distinctions between nationalisms remain significant. Given the intertwined legacies of colonialism, the patriarchal assumptions in nationalism, and the particularism of the Hindu right-wing, definitions of Indian culture have always been problematic, especially in the way they cast the "nation" as an entity affected and endangered by the "west". The secular, multireligious or more inclusive nationalisms that emerged in the colonial period were implicated in the specific types of antifeminism and new conservatism that crystallized around anticolonialism; however, they cannot be confused with the obsessive particularisms that attempted to seize nationalism and twist it to their own ends. These particularisms sought the aura of nationalism but pushed for a single majoritarian religious identity, and a tighter patriarchy by polarizing an alien, "selfgenerated" and modem "west". Neither anticolonialism, nor antiwesternism, nor antimodernity could guarantee national authenticity since they were shaped in a two-way cultural traffic marked by recursivity, transformation, resistance and ideological collaboration. They, did however, produce a powerful imaginary India exemplified in its nonmodern or antimodern areas (notably a subsuming religiosity and chaste, self-sacrificing women) to be preserved, an India that was most emphatically (though not exclusively) deployed by the Hindu right" (Sangari 2004, 153).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gendered Discourses, Nationalism, Religion, Security, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2004

Invisible Bodies: Gender, Conflict and Peace in Mindanao

Citation:

Hilsdon, Anne-Marie. 2009. “Invisible Bodies: Gender, Conflict and Peace in Mindanao.” Asian Studies Review 33 (3): 349–65.

Author: Anne-Marie Hilsdon

Annotation:

Summary:
"Against a backdrop of “conflict” and “violence”, this article explores several community spaces where Maranao women become “invisible”. It argues that through attempts to explain how and why such exclusions and omissions occur, Maranao women's negotiated embodied existence can be understood. I focus on a number of aspects of women's invisibility. First, although women are active in community peacemaking, this activity remains invisible and generally unacknowledged in both Muslim and Christian communities. Second, the intra-community conflict of rido remains unacknowledged in both “war” and peacemaking as the government focuses almost solely on the resolution of national political conflict. In addition, Muslim women's peacemaking abilities remain unacknowledged in national peace forums. Third, although religious tolerance underpins and often propels peacemaking processes, social justice for women is lacking" (Hilsdon 2009, 350).

 

Topics: Gender, Women, conflict, Justice, Peace Processes, Religion, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2019

Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J., and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim. 2003. “Women and Land in Northern Nigeria: The Need for Independent Ownership Rights.” In Women and Land in Africa: Culture, Religion and Realizing Women’s Rights, edited by L. Muthoni Wanyeki. London: Zed Books.

Authors: Hussaina J. Abdullah, Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim

Annotation:

Summary: 
"This study is therefore intended to contribute to an understanding of land as it relates to women and as viewed from the human rights paradigm. The main objective is to undertake a critical, empirical study of women's land rights in northern Nigeria, and the manner in which these rights are shaped by religion, tradition and law. The purpose is not only to examine women's rights of access to, ownership of and control over land, including women's inheritance rights, but also to study how religion (canonical and Sharia), tradition and law (customary and non-customary) act and interact to condition the definition and practice of women's land rights. The primary focus is a review of historical practice and an analysis of empirical data on three categories of women (married, divorced, and widowed). Marriage is used as a determining variable in women's land rights because it is the major means by which women and men access land in Africa. However, whereas women's land rights are dependent on their relations with men, men's land rights are not dependent on their relations with women. Moreover, women are threatened with dispossession if divorced or widowed (Small 1997: 46)" (Abdullah and Fofana-Ibrahim 2003, 134).

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2003

Religious Revivalism, Human Rights Activism and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Nigeria

Citation:

Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2000. "Religious Revivalism, Human Rights Activism and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Nigeria." In Beyond Rights Talk and Culture Talk: Comparative Essays on Political Rights and Culture, edited by Mahmood Mamdani, 96-120. Cape Town: David Philip Publishers.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah

Annotation:

Summary:
“Within the context of economic crisis, structural adjustment and political authoritarianism which have characterized Nigeria since the 1980s there has been a growth of human rights and civil liberties activism, together with a process of religious revivalism and a rising and institutionalized "State" feminism. From their different positions, the various associations have either shown total disregard for women's rights issues or proved incapable of dealing with them. The struggles of activist women's organizations, such as Women in Nigeria (WIN), which emerged in 1983, have involved the articulation of strategies for responding to the de-politicizing thrust and consequences of "State" feminism/"femocracy", whilst simultaneously attempting to tap potentially positive elements from the process for the benefit of Nigerian women. At another level, they have entailed the broadening of the campaign for women's rights with regard to issues of legal and constitutional reform. International networking has also been employed to advance the interests of Nigerian women, especially as they pertain to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Furthermore, there has been an attempt by some women's groups, such as the Federation of Muslim Women's Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), to use the idiom of religion and contestations over doctrinal interpretation to press the case for reforms. However, the struggles of Nigerian women for change still have to contend with resilient patriarchal structures, which aspects of religious revivalism have tended to reinforce and which the explosion of human rights activism has, so far, been insufficient to challenge significantly” (Abdullah 2000, 162-3).

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Constitutions, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Nigeria

Year: 2000

From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia

Citation:

Theidon, Kimberly. 2015. “From Guns to God: Mobilizing Evangelical Christianity in Urabá, Colombia.” In Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present, edited by Alexander Wilde, 443–76. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Author: Kimberly Theidon

Annotation:

Summary:
“This chapter draws on field research with former combatants from the paramilitaries Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Since January 2005 I have been conducting anthropological research on the individual and collective demobilization programs. To date my Colombian colleague Paola Andrea Betancourt and I have interviewed 236 male and 53 female former combatants. In addition, we have interviewed representatives of state entities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the military, the Catholic and Evangelical churches, and various sectors of the 'host communities' to which former combatants are sent or to which they return. I sought to understand the local dynamics between victims and victimizers and the experiences of those individuals and communities the UNDPKO rightly describes as lying somewhere in between" (Theidon 2015, p. 445). 
 
“I begin with an overview of Colombia’s current DDR program and its impact on Urabá, located in the region with the highest concentration of demobilized combatants. I then explore how evangelical pastors manage memory and the past, issues of great relevance in the lives of former combatants and those around them. This leads to a discussion of repertoires of justice and the elaboration of local theologies of redemption and reconciliation. I conclude by analyzing the role these churches play in providing a space for the development of alternative masculinities and the much-desired personal transformations that may allow these former combatants to forge una nueva vida” (p. 446).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Religion Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2015

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